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Mexican Rice

This Mexican Rice is an easy and quick dish made from pantry staples! The perfect side dish for any Mexican meal.

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This post was given a refresh April 1, 2021 with clarified instructions and new photos. Recipe remains the same. 

Bright orange-red colored Mexican Rice in a large white bowl with a wooden spoon garnished with chopped cilantro.

Easy Mexican Rice Recipe

This recipe is a staple in my house. We have so many Mexican and Tex-Mex inspired meals and this is always an easy choice to make as a side. I swear I could probably make it with my eyes closed at this point…

For real it is that simple!

This recipe is also great because it can easily be altered and subbed. For example for some extra vegetables I very often will throw in 1 cup of frozen mixed veggies in as it is cooking. It is also easy to make with different kinds of onions or tomatoes, really whatever you have at home!


Besides the onion and garlic everything else is a pantry item! So it’s easy to stock up on these items so you can make this at anytime!

  • Olive Oil
  • Small Onion
  • Minced Garlic
  • White Rice
  • Sazón Goya Con Culantro Y Achiote Seasoning Packet
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Water
  • Oregano
  • Salt

For a complete detailed list of the ingredients continue towards the bottom of the page.

Ingredients needed to make mexican rice arranged on a table top including Sazón Goya Con Cilantro Y Achiote.

Instructions for Mexican Rice

In a medium pot (that has a tight fitting lid) heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté 3-4 minutes until slightly translucent. 

Add rice to the pot and sauté 1-2 minute to slightly toast the rice. 

Next add the seasoning packet, diced tomatoes, water, oregano, and salt to the pot. Stir and cover. Bring to boil.

Once the rice is boiling, leave the lid on, reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 to 13 minutes. (Do not open the lid or stir during this time, just quickly check after the first 10 minutes to see if it needs a few more minutes.) 

Remove from heat, stir to fluff, and serve immediately.

Overhead view of a large white bowl of mexican rice on a table surrounded by cilantro and cut up limes.
Large white bowl filled with red-orange colored mexican rice garnished with cilantro with a wooden spoon.

Tips, Tricks, & Questions:

• Sazón Goya Con Culantro y Achiote (Coriander & Annatto) is a seasoning that comes in a box of packets. You can find it in the Mexican food or spice section of your grocery store or online here, Sazon Goya Con Culantro y Achiote. You can make this recipe without it, but it definitely adds a little something to the dish.

• I like to use flavored diced tomatoes in this dish when I have them, I think the fire roasted variety tastes amazing in here!

• Feel free to add some frozen mixed vegetables to the sauté if you feel inclined, I often add about 1-2 cups and soften them before I add the rice

Recipes to make with your Mexican Rice:

A white bowl with a wooden spoon filled with mexican rice and garnished with cilantro.

Mexican Rice

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

A quick and easy side dish perfect for Mexican dishes made from pantry staples!


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup white rice (I use jasmine)
  • 1 packet Sazón Goya Con Culantro Y Achiote seasoning*
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon oregano


  1. In a large pot (that has a tight fitting lid) heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté 3-4 minutes until slightly translucent. 
  2. Add the rice and sauté 1-2 minute to slightly toast the rice. 
  3. Add the seasoning packet, diced tomatoes, water and oregano to the pot. Stir and cover, then to bring to boil.
  4. Once the pot is boiling leave lid on, reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes (do not open lid or stir during this time). 
  5. Check the rice, if it seems watery, let cook 2-3 more minutes. Once all the liquid has been absorbed, remove from heat. Fluff rice and serve immediately.


*This may be left out or substituted with a dash of cumin and coriander. I have not had trouble finding it at the store (it can be found at Walmart), there is a picture above in the post to help you out. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4 of the dish
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 78Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 154mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g

Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below on the blog or share a photo with me tag @the_schmidty_wife! Can't wait to see what you made!

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Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

Original Post:

A quick sauté of onions and garlic, and everything else is put into the pot and cooked into a delicious side dish your whole family will enjoy! Well most of your family anyway 😉

So this is probably the first recipe on The Schmidty Wife in which I am not the biggest fan of… say what?!? I am not a fan of Mexican Rice in general, never have been probably never will be, I never eat the rice at Mexican Restaurants, it either goes not eaten or my husband/son will gobble it down. So if I don’t like Mexican Rice why on earth would I make it? Because Matt and Archie absolutely love the stuff, they gobble it down. So I developed a recipe that is made easy from pantry items.

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Erin Lowell

Thursday 23rd of December 2021

For years I've searched for a great mexican rice recipe. This is it - and it's so simple. Thank you for sharing!

Lauren Schmidt

Wednesday 29th of December 2021

Thanks so much Erin!


Wednesday 20th of May 2020

How i make my rice (following my grandmas and moms recipe) is by blending some 1/4 of an onion, with 2-3 tomatoes a bit of water and adding some chicken bouillon for flavor.

Blend that together, Mince a garlic or two, sauté it with your rice (1-1.5c) and then add in the blended mixture with another 2-3c of water. Of course, depending on the amount of rice.

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